Colored lobster rope could be safer for whales

Updated at: 03/04/2014 8:56 AM
BLAKE DAVIS

(AP) ROCKPORT, Maine - ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) — A researcher says preventing endangered North Atlantic right whales from becoming entangled in lobster gear could be as simple as changing the color of the rope.

Right whale researcher Scott Kraus says he and others set out three years ago to determine whether whales sense some colors better than others. He says their tests indicate right whales respond most to red and orange.

He outlined the research at the Maine Fishermen's Forum, an annual fishing industry event that draws together fishermen, regulators, researchers and other industry officials.

Michael Moore is director of the marine mammal center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He says the research makes sense because even though whales see in black-and-white the clouds of zooplankton upon which they feed are orange.

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